Highlights

  • "Omicron is not common cold": Centre's warning on new variant
  • Omicron fast replacing Delta as dominant variant: Dr VK Paul
  • Omicron has led to the collapse of health system of some countries" 

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Covid-19: Centre counters its own expert on Omicron, says don't treat it as common cold

Covid Third Wave: The Centre has warned against treating the infection due to the Omicron variant as common cold and urged people to get vaccinated

A day after an ICMR epidemiologist suggested that Omicron is a mild infection and everyone will get it, the Centre on Wednesday warned against treating the infection due to the Omicron variant as common cold and urged people to get vaccinated.

NITI Aayog Member V K Paul said the pandemic has again become intense, this time powered by the Omicron variant "which is rapidly replacing or has already replaced" Delta as the dominant form.

"Omicron is not the common cold and we cannot take it lightly just because it is causing mild infections. This variant has led to the collapse of the health system of some countries. Health workers at some places had to take leave leading to increased pressure." Stressing that vaccination is an important pillar in the Covid response programme, Dr Paul said, "We need to be vigilant, get vaccinated and follow Covid-appropriate behaviour. It is society's responsibility to slow the spread".

Also Watch: Covid India update: Nearly 2.5 lakh cases in 24 hrs, PM Modi to meet chief ministers

Dr. Jaiprakash Muliyil of the Indian Council of Medical Research told NDTV on Tuesday that "a majority of us will not know we have been infected, probably more than 80% will not even know when we have it."

The epidemiologist stressed that booster shots of Covid vaccine will make no difference.

A sharp rise in Covid-19 infections has been noted in India with the case positivity climbing to 11.05 per cent on Wednesday from 1.1 per cent on December 30

The Union Health Ministry has said that Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Gujarat are emerging as states of concern due to the rise in Covid cases there.

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